A Letter By: Hannah Flores
To the only Black person in the room,
You are, simultaneously, the most invisible and visibly distracting presence known to man. Learning the art of being Black in a space is a process to carry out over a lifetime, as you are taught the myriad ways that Blackness can be undesirable. This is a painful but essential discipline to practice.
You are the greatest balancing act to ever grace the tightrope: staying true to your identity while prioritizing the comfort of everyone else. Making yourself small to make others feel comfortable has become your second nature and first instinct.
White picket fences lace the neighbourhoods where you are not meant to plant your flag, your garden, your foot. You keep your wallet and identification handy, as many may question your residence within the confines of their sacred fence. They call it "an intrusion." They name you the plague that festers in their quiet little town. ...
By: Hannah Flores
Watch my YouTube film: https://youtu.be/FSNw0aiDxhE
Professor announces the return of our final papers
Professor hands me back my work
I flip back to the comments
All professor writes is
Excellent work, not enough sources referenced
Cite your sources
I have trouble with this one
How do you cite a history that directly affects you?
That is you?
How do you cite yourself on a paper?
Professor says look at articles
Professor says watch videos
Professor says research
I have trouble with that
Because what if I am the educational video that is unfolding right now?
How do I cite what has already happened in my life and what will probably happen tomorrow?
Will there be a tomorrow?
Based on all of the things that have happened on too many yesterdays?
How do I cite a conversation with my grandmother?
How do I cite the fields of fruit trees that grow in her first homeland?
By: Hannah Flores
I believe in The Good Book.
Reading in bed I look up, trying to find God in the ceiling. I do this while trying not to do the opposite of healing. I believe in finding purpose between pages, hope between the lines and holding the beginning of life in your hands. It feels warm.
I believe in books.
When I read a book, the neurons in my brain fire overtime, deciding what the characters are wearing, how they're standing, and what it feels like the first time that they kiss.
No one shows you.
The words make suggestions.
My brain paints the pictures.
I believe books are agencies of travel that I can depend on.
To read in bed is to draw around me invisible, noiseless curtains. Then, at last, I am in a room of my own and I am ready to burrow back, back to that private life of the imagination we all led as...
By: Hannah Flores
Held back in books
Held back in business
Held back in bonds
Held back in line
Held back in time
Hold my baby
And tell them
That they will be held back too
Please restrain me
Please hold me back
You will need to
For your own safety
By Hannah Flores
As I sweep the floors of this house
You sweep things under the rugs
Leaving the pages of our stories to fade into dust
Turning our skins into doormats
You let all the houseplants wilt
Depriving this house of the extra oxygen that it needs
You've cleaned out the bookshelves and the pantry
Covered all of the furniture
Because you didn't want me to know how to know
How to cook
How to live and not just survive
You did not want me to have heirlooms
You emptied this house
So it wouldn't feel like a home
So it wouldn't feel inviting anymore
Cleansing this house
To the point where it seems
That it was always vacant